Mason Tush started playing store with his cousins when he was 7 years old, finding different items in the house to merchandise and pretend to sell. After a few years, he decided to see if he could make some money setting up a baseball card shop in his garage.
Though he didn’t get any customers, from as early as he can remember, he’s loved the idea of buying stuff and reselling it.
Today, Tush is co-owner of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, a tackle shop, fishing sportswear and boat rental store with 20 employees and three locations. He can’t recall exactly when he started working for the family business, but as young as fifth grade he’d be hanging with the high school kids who would be cleaning the boats.
In 2009, Tush encouraged his dad to buy an old gas station that was closing next to one of their locations. They spent a couple years looking at building a bigger gas station and then a year deciding if they should sell it. But at that point they were running into issues with space at their main location, doing everything from boat rentals to Jet Skis to parasailing to fishing charters all from one location.
Tush says he suggested, “Let’s put parasailing and Jet Skis over there, clean it up and see what happens.” From the first year it was up and running it was clear that it was a good investment.
After watching the success of the store/restaurant combo The Shore in Sarasota, Tush and his family came up with another idea to lease the upstairs of the space. Last month they broke ground with Daiquiri Deck to open a new restaurant above their shop.
In addition to his work at the store, Tush has also volunteered at the Sarasota Tarpon Tournament for the last eight years. As chairman, he’s helped the tournament grow from 3000 anglers to more than 100,000 every year, donating $40,000 to local charities.
— Traci McMillan Beach
Name: Mason Tush
City of residence: Sarasota
Employer: Self - CB's Saltwater Outfitters
Title: Co Owner
Years on the Gulf Coast: 34
Marital status/children: Single/0
Alma mater: University of Florida
Best place to network: within volunteer groups
Coolest business experience: Opening up our new retail store/restaurant 1250 Stickney Point Road and watching it be successful
Messy desk or clean workspace: messy desk ... never get to the bottom
Best business lesson ever learned: never assume
A website that makes your job easier: Google
Community group you’re most involved with: Sarasota Tarpon Tournament - Chairman
Favorite off-hours activity: being active .... fishing and playing sports (football, basketball, golf)
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Both of my grandfathers. My mother's father was a wonderful businessman (large reason we have CB's today) and my father's father was Executive Vice President of Marketing for Brown Forman and finished his career as President of the Jos. Garneau Co.
What you would be doing if you could pick another career: Navy Pilot or working with a large marketing firm
Top item on your bucket list: learning to fly
Skill you’d like to learn: time management ... controlling my life, not letting my life control me.
Who would play you in a movie about your life: Andrew Lincoln (Walking Dead) apparently we have a resemblance
If I had a magic wand I’d: Be a magician